Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Sorting things out

Frankly, I don’t believe in luck. When four guys work their way down a run and only one catches the fish, it isn’t luck. There is a reason.

So whenever things don’t go our way with our finny friends, tossing things off to luck is not the best response.

I’ve had a run of ‘failing to hook up’. Fish whack the fly, tug on it, chew on it, pull line out while chomping on it, yet they fail to stick the sharp bit in their jaws. Ya, I get the onesies and twosies, but the good old days of one after another have become ancient history. Why?

Well, this fall we’ve had abnormally low flows. The fish are there, but they’re not hitting consistently with their usual gusto. Not surprising when we consider the normally high and off colour river is running low and clear while ospreys and bald eagles prowl overhead. But others are getting their share of hookups so what is the difference? My flies.

My tube flies have 1” to 2” of tail beyond the hook. Not a problem when the fish are whacking them with relish, but an issue when they just nip. Worse, the low flows have my hook points riding lower than the wing, rather than in the wing when flows are normal. So when a nipper nips, they get the wing, but miss the point. These flies are designed the way they are so that I can bounce them off of structure lining my usual runs and work them into the pools guarded by those rocks. A stinger hook on the end of a shank would just snag up constantly and I’d spend my day tying on flies until I ran out.

My buddies who are landing fish in different rivers and runs are using flies with stinger hooks embedded in material. The nipper nips the tail and gets steel instead. I did get a chance to use a stinger fly in a different stretch of water without the snag problems of my usual spots and the hookups came quickly. Solved that conundrum easily enough.

So a fly redesign is in order to embed steel in feathers while retaining my snag resistant design.

More to follow on how this works out.